“I have a cavity... What should I do?”
Living with a cavity can be an extremely uncomfortable and painful experience. Any pressure on the tooth causes unbearable agony, and forget about chewing solid food or drinking hot liquids!
Not only is a cavity irritating and uncomfortable, but letting one go untreated can lead to a whole host of other problems.
Cavities are caused by tooth decay. Any excessive decay or severe tooth damage leads to an increased risk of infection. An untreated tooth with a severe infection may need to be extracted.
Furthermore, if one of your teeth gets infected, the dental pulp from that tooth can spread to your other teeth and cause them to become infected as well. This can lead to the loss of multiple teeth or a decrease in overall mouth function and oral health.
If you have a cavity or tooth decay, the only thing that can prevent further damage is a tooth filling. That’s why at Hills Dental, we are committed to providing our patients with the very best dental filling experience from our highly trained and qualified professionals.
If you live in Pennant Hills and suffer from any of the mentioned symptoms or conditions, you may qualify for tooth fillings in Pennant Hills.
Types of Tooth Fillings
Gold fillings are very strong and can last for more than 15 years. However, they take longer to place than other materials and can be costly. If you currently have silver fillings, a painful side effect called galvanic shock can result from having gold fillings installed in neighboring teeth.
Silver fillings are also quite durable, typically lasting anywhere from 10 to 15 years. They are also less expensive than gold or composite fillings. Unfortunately, more of the natural tooth must be removed to install a silver filling. The filling can also discolor the natural tooth and cause a greater degree of cracks and fractures than other materials.
Composite fillings are colored to match the natural tooth, so it is the best looking option of the three. The material also bonds chemically to the tooth to provide added support, and the procedure to install it preserves more of the original tooth structure.
The only drawback with composite fillings is that they don’t last as long as gold or silver, and will have to be replaced after five or so years.
Do I Need a Tooth Filling?
If you have a cavity or a significant amount of tooth decay, you are most likely in need of a dental filling. Dental fillings can also be used to treat broken, cracked, or worn down teeth.
Patients who receive a tooth filling can expect to reap the following benefits:
- Tooth protected from further decay
- Reduced risk of infection
- Improved mouth function
- Overall improvement in oral health
Patients who forgo treatment for cavities can expect:
- Deepening of existing cavities
- Spread of infection to other teeth
- Preventable tooth loss
If you are confronted with any of these conditions, it is recommended that you schedule an appointment with your dentist to discuss your options.
The Tooth Filling Process and What to Expect
Your First Appointment
Before taking part in the actual filling process, you will need to have an initial examination with your dentist to determine the extent of the damage. This way, your dentist can confirm ahead of time that a tooth filling is indeed the proper solution to your dental problem.
The examination process may consist of the dentist simply inspecting your teeth, sometimes prodding them with dental instruments to check for decay. The dentist may also decide to use a temporary dye to help expose certain decayed areas.
In cases where tooth decay is extensive, the dentist may need to perform an X-ray to get a clearer picture of the damage. Once this examination has taken place, your dentist will have an understanding of the situation and can prepare to administer the filling at your next appointment.
Your Second Appointment
Before starting the filling procedure, your dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the affected tooth and the surrounding area. This will help to ensure the patient remains relaxed and comfortable and does not feel any pain.
Once the area has been numbed, the dentist will remove the decayed parts of the tooth using a handheld dental instrument. Any debris left in the cavity will then be loosened with water and removed with a suction device.
Using a cleaning gel, the dentist will then disinfect the emptied cavity to eliminate the risk of infection. In certain circumstances, it may be necessary to line the cavity with a composite material to protect the nerve. Then the filling can be added to the cavity in layers, drying in between with a handheld light.
Once the cavity has been filled in, it just needs to be polished and filed down to the proper size.
Tooth Filling Aftercare
Fillings are relatively sturdy after the procedure, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble with them when recovering. Here are some guidelines to make sure everything goes smoothly after your second appointment:
- Continue your normal oral hygiene routine of brushing and flossing
- Rinse your mouth with mouthwash at least once a day
- Consider switching to toothpaste for sensitive teeth to help protect your enamel
Finally, be sure to attend any follow-up appointments your dentist suggests to ensure that your tooth remains in perfect health.
Frequency Asked Questions
While you should not be in serious pain after a tooth filling, your tooth will be mildly sensitive to heat and cold for approximately three days after the procedure.
This is entirely dependent on the insurance that you have, but most dental insurance plans will pay for fillings made from less expensive materials. Your dentist can assist you in determining what exactly your insurance will cover.
What Makes Hills Dental Different?
Every dentist on our team of experts is highly trained and certified to provide you with the best care you can receive. For the sake of transparency, our dentists have extensive reviews on the web, so patients can have a clear idea of what to expect from their caregiver.
More Confident Smile Guaranteed
Our team is so committed to improving your well-being that if you don’t have a more confident smile in 12 months, we are willing to work at no cost until you do.
We offer a range of payment plans to suit your needs, so you can always have access to the care you require.
Call for Relief from Discomfort and a Restored Smile
If you are suffering from a cavity that needs to be filled, give our team a call at (02) 9158 6259 or book an appointment online today!